Three homes were damaged to various degrees in separate fires in recent days.
Early Monday morning
The Cricket, Millers Creek and North Wilkesboro fire departments were dispatched to a fire that heavily damaged a small wood frame house on Cricket Baptist Church in the Cricket Fire District about 4 a.m. Monday.
The neighbor who reported the fire told a dispatcher that it appeared to be in advanced stages. Wilkes Deputy Fire Marshal Tim Pardue said the fire apparently resulted from a malfunction in an electric furnace.
Pardue said the residence is owned by John Gregory Cloninger of South Carolina and rented by Patricia Rouggiero, who wasn’t home when the fire started. Firefighters were on the scene until about 2 p.m. Monday. The Wilkes Rescue Squad also responded.
Intentionally set fire
Wilkes Fire Marshal Nikki Hamby ruled that a fire that heavily damaged a brick veneer house on N.C. 268 East in the Knotville Fire District Friday night was intentionally set.
Hamby determined that someone broke into the house and started the fire in the den area. He said he couldn’t rule out vagrants being responsible.
The fire burned the den and kitchen and up through the roof of that portion of the house. There was smoke and heat damage elsewhere.
The home wasn’t occupied but was still furnished. Hamby said it belongs to Steve and Allen Johnson and was the home of their parents.
The Knotville, Roaring River and Mountain View fire departments were dispatched about 11 p.m. Friday. The Wilkes Rescue Squad also was dispatched.
In Wilbar Friday
Firefighters saved a mobile home at 7539 N.C. 16 North in Wilbar from being a total loss when it caught fire Friday afternoon, said Wilbar Fire Chief Rick Jennings. Firefighters were dispatched about 2:23 p.m.
Jennings said the fire began in a bedroom at one end of the mobile home and was mostly contained to that area. The cause wasn’t determined, but he said foul play isn’t suspected. The structure wasn’t insured.
Jennings said the Millers Creek Fire Department, with a manned fire station, arrived first and played a key role in saving the mobile home by quickly knocking the fire down.
The Wilbar Fire Department was close behind. Also arriving were the Mulberry-Fairplains and Cricket fire departments and the Wilkes Rescue Squad. The home is owned and occupied by Gwyn Ward, but no one was there when the fire started.